"I've been writing for 40 years trying to scare people out of this place, and haven't done a very good job of it."
As a columnist for the Miami Herald and a prolific novelist of books such as Strip Tease, Lucky You and Star Island, Carl Hiaasen has a subject: Florida. Hiaasen grew up in the state during the 1950s and has lived and worked there his entire life, watching it morph from a rural backwater with abundant natural beauty and resources to one struggling with the effects of development and tourism.
Florida's population has more than quintupled since Hiaasen was a boy. What was once the middle of the nowhere, he says, is now all concrete, and to call what has happened to the state an invasion is too mild.
"I use the word tramped, stampeded," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "Try to imagine ... the transformation you would watch if you lived here. It's traumatic."
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